Jodi Arias Stuck in Limbo: Jury Split on Sentence

Now a new jury must be selected

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2013 4:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – First Jodi Arias said she wanted the death penalty; then, she made a long case against it. Now, it seems, the jury can't make up its mind either: It split 8-4 in favor of the death penalty. That left the judge to declare a mistrial, with another effort set for July 18 before a new jury. The decision—or lack thereof—left Arias looking surprised, with a "half-smile," according to the Arizona Republic. The family of victim Travis Alexander, meanwhile, appeared devastated; his sisters were in tears.

"The Court has set a status conference for June 20 and we will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase" of the trial, said the county attorney's office in a statement. The conviction will remain. It was a bizarre, quiet ending for a trial that held the country's eyes and ears and drew crowds to the courthouse, the Republic notes. Now, "finding 12 honest jurors—by which I mean they have not got a hidden agenda and they want to get on the jury to set things right—is going to be hard. Even my 8-year-old had an opinion," notes a lawyer formerly involved in the case.

Virginia Aguiar, right, comforts Tiffany Sarmient as she cries in frustration after it was announced the jury was deadlocked.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Jodi Arias listens as the verdict for sentencing is read for her first degree murder conviction at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Ariz., on Thursday, May 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Wallace, Pool)
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